Archive | July, 2012

Distracted by Ducklings

This week I haven’t worked at all on the ornaments.  Here are some pictures of where they were last weekend that I didn’t put up yet.  First, the one I finished in my “how to” post:

And the next five that I haven’t finished yet:

This week, however, I have been distracted by a stamped cross-stitch kit that has been sitting on my shelf for a while: What an Ugly Duckling by Dimensions.  I’m not a big fan of stamped cross stitch; having some of your design stamped on the fabric already seems a lot like cheating, and I definitely prefer Aida cloth to the canvas sailcloth that this kit came with.  But this is a cute pattern, so it’s not all bad. 🙂

Here’s the progress so far:

How to finish a cross-stitch ornament

As I’m putting the backings onto the next set of ornaments, I thought I’d post the process I go through to turn a stitched design into an ornament.

First, use a circle template or compass to draw three concentric circles on the back of the ornament in pencil.  The design should be at the center of all the circles.  The first circle is 2.5″ in diameter, for the finished size of the ornament, the second is 3″, and the third is 3.5″.


Cut the fabric along the circumference of the outermost circle.


Cut a 2.5″ circle out of self-adhesive mounting board (you could use cardboard and just spray adhesive on one side of it), and line it up with the center circle on the fabric.  Press down so the adhesive sticks.


Using two strands of sewing thread, sew running stitch along the line of the remaining circle.  Pull tight as you go; we’ll use this to gather the fabric at the back.


Put a line of glue along the outer edge of the back of the mounting board, under the fabric.Image

Pull the threads tight and knot them together.  Press the fabric edge down into the glue so it is as flat as possible.


Cut a 6-inch piece of ribbon and a 2.5″ circle out of felt.


Glue the ribbon to the top of the ornament in such a way that the ornament will hang straight when put on a hook or tree.  Then draw another line of glue along the edge of the ornament on the back.


Place the felt circle onto the ornament, pressing down around the edges.


Put the ornament under a heavy book to dry overnight, and when you wake up your ornament will be finished!


First two ornaments

The first two ornaments dried nicely and are now done.  I had to trim the felt and unfortunately it came out less perfectly round after that.

The backs came out all right, not too bumpy.  I’ll have to think about how to make the backs more round next time, since a 2.75″ circle was too big (hence the trimming) and a 2.5″ circle was too small.


Right now, my main project is making cross-stitch ornaments.  My goal is to make all the ornaments from this kit:  So far, I’ve stitched eight of them.  Here are the first six stitched on 4×4″ squares.
I’m having a bit more trouble creating the backings and doing the finishing.  I bought a circle template, which is helping to at least make them round; the challenge is getting all the layers (cross stitch aida fabric, mounting board, ribbon, and felt) stuck together with glue without coming out too bumpy.  Two of them are currently drying under the classic Jurafsky & Martin book:
 I’m going to see how those come out before I do the others.

My new blog!

I created this blog so I have a place to write about the projects I’m currently working on.  It can take a lot of time to finish a project to completion, so when I’m just posting final projects on Etsy and Facebook, there can be long gaps between updates.  I’d like to let people know that I really am still working on things in between! This blog, Purple Stitching, has also prompted a name change for my Etsy shop, formerly Purple Knits.  Believe it or not, a lot of my time is spent on crafts other than knitting, especially cross stitch or beading.  I wanted a name to reflect a bit more diversity in my crafting life, and since “PurpleStitches” was already taken, my shop is now called PurpleStitching to match the blog:  All old links to “PurpleKnits” will still work; they’ll forward you to the new shop pages.